Two middle-aged couples from South Annville Township are going “all in” on ice cream.
Brothers Reid Hoover and Dean Hoover, and their wives, Diane and Mary Ann, have been in business together before, but never in the restaurant business. Their newest joint venture is going by the name of “Colebrook Crossing,” a catchy title for their version of a good, old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
Located at 1550 Mount Wilson Road, not far from the Hoovers’ dairy farm, Colebrook Crossing is their reincarnation of the former Colebrook Twin Kiss. And not unlike its predecessor, Colebrook Crossing’s primary fare will be the soft frozen treat loved by millions.
“Ice cream makes people happy,” said Diane Hoover. “It’s wholesome and it’s a dairy product. This is going to be a fun place to come in the middle of summer. It’s going to be relaxing and family friendly. Who doesn’t like ice cream?”
“We just wanted to maybe do something as we retire from the dairy farm,” she continued. “But that might not happen for a few years. We’re community-minded people and this community needed something. They say you never work a day in your life if you’re doing something you love, and I want to do this.”
Hoover said that the group hopes to open Colebrook Crossing soon, hopefully in May, and almost certainly in time for the summer season. The complete overhaul of the former Colebrook Twin Kiss is nearly complete, with only the business’s finishing touches left to address.
“We’re getting there,” said Diane Hoover. “We’re hoping to be open in May sometime. We have some loose ends to pull together. It’s very important to be open for the summer. May’s our goal and we’re really pushing for that.”
“Learning a whole new business is our biggest challenge,” she added. “We listen to a lot of advice and we’re willing to learn. It’s all trial and error. It’s a little adventure that has become a big adventure.”
In addition to the fixings and all the variations of it, Colebrook Crossing will offer chocolate and vanilla soft ice cream, as well as two additional, rotating flavors each week. The restaurant’s menu will also feature local drinks, hamburgers, hot dogs, cheesesteaks, and french fries.
Hoover said that their dairy farm will not supply products for Colebrook Crossing.
The ice cream restaurant will tend to customers through walk-up window service and will include indoor seating in a modest dining room and outdoor seating at a spacious, front-facing patio.
“It’s a great spot. It’s a beautiful area,” said Diane. “There’s a playground that South Londonderry Township maintains right next door. There’s also a lot of people who use the rail-to-trail. We’re looking forward to becoming a destination for people stopping off the trail.
“We’re trying to keep that past feel of a Twin Kiss, but we’re not a Twin Kiss,” she added. “That footprint was successful for many years, and we saw no reason to change it.”
When it does open, Colebrook Crossing’s hours of operation will be Mondays through Saturdays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with reduced hours on Sundays. The initial plan calls for the enterprise to be a seasonal business at first, but Hoover did not rule out the possibility of it staying open past the fall season.
Colebrook Crossings will employ 12 part-time workers. Diane said there was initial apprehension about staffing, but that the response to the business’s employee search was good and “it doesn’t feel like a concern right now.”
At one time a popular hot spot, the Colebrook Twin Kiss had operated at 1550 Mount Wilson Road since the 1970s. Even before purchasing the property in October 2021, Diane said that the notion about operating an ice cream parlor had already been swimming around in her head.
“I had the idea about opening an ice cream shop first, and then this became available,” she said. “Because we only live down the road, we’d drive by, see it and say, ‘It would be fun to operate it.’ When it was officially for sale, we said to Reid and Mary Ann, ‘Do you want to go in with us?’ There wasn’t a lot of in-depth study going on.
“It’s been here since the 70s and people loved to go here,” she concluded. “The rail-trail is right over there, and hikers would love to come here, and they were disappointed that it was closed. This is a very busy road and I think we’ll get road traffic. There’s nothing around here. It’s for the neighborhood.”
Officially an unincorporated community, Colebrook can be accessed by Pennsylvania routes 241 and 117. Positioned in southwestern Lebanon County, Colebrook is 3 miles from Mount Gretna and 9 miles from Elizabethtown.
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